Breakfast at Tiffany’s (12/16/12)

Breakfast at Tiffany'sMovie Two Hundred Eighty Five

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a young New York socialite resistant to love ends up falling for a man in her apartment building.

After eating a pastry and drinking coffee while window shopping outside Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) heads home to her New York City apartment. She tries avoiding her date from the night before, and buzzes her neighbor, Mr. Yunioshi (Mickey Rooney) to let her in. The next morning, Holly is awakened by her own doorbell ringing and a new tenant is trying to move in. She invites him in and learns his name is Paul Varjak (George Peppard).Soon, Holly tells Paul she needs to visit Sing Sing prison and deliver a coded message as a “weather report” to a famous mobster. As Paul learns more about the true Holly Golightly, he falls for her despite her adherence to keeping up appearances of her lifestyle.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s fans be warned, I was not at all charmed by this film. Within minutes of the film starting, Mickey Rooney’s horrifyingly racist portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi almost made me turn the film off but I pressed on thinking it was just a sign of the times. Then I discovered the film was not supposed to be a comedy and Mr. Yunioshi seems to be injected, superfluously I might add, to add some “humor” to the movie. Disgusting. But my distaste for the film didn’t end there.

I also kind of hated Holly Golightly as well. I don’t understand why so many girls see her as a role model. She is lying about who she is, she is only interested in money, she doesn’t seem to actually believe in love, she is superficial, it’s hinted that she’s a call girl, she is mentally unstable, etc. Maybe she is “real” and just trying to find herself but that wasn’t my impression of her. I had never seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s but have seen Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly emblazoned on all sorts of memorabilia and while watching the film I kept asking myself  “why?”.

Now that I’m (maybe) done bashing Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I will praise the film’s sense of style. I’m a huge fan of the TV show Mad Men and while I was kind of hating Holly Golightly I did like her manner of dress.

I really don’t know why I was so put off by Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Perhaps it is just one of those movies so many people talk about that you just assume greatness. Now I know how all those folks feel that don’t like Citizen Kane. Breakfast at Tiffany’s was recently just admitted to the National Film Registry and I kind of cringed when I read that news. Maybe if they recut the film without Mr. Yunioshi it would leave a better taste in my mouth.

I give it 2 the only scene I really liked was the opening title sequence out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


32 responses to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s (12/16/12)

  1. My brother said that the book by Truman Capote was really trashy. Haven’t read it myself but I trust his judgment. Mickey Rooney’s performance was definitely one of the more….interesting(?) aspects of the film.

  2. Yeah Rooney’s impression of a Japanese person is twitch-worthy. I agree with you on the rest of the movie as well.

    It’s supposed to a great, iconic movie but so is The Graduate. I don’t get what was so great about that movie either.

  3. Audrey has a fabulous wardrobe in this film, but I am not a fan. I can’t get past the fact that she left her children to pursue a shallow life in the city. I’m not judging the character – I just think the movie treats it too lightly.

  4. It has been years since I’ve seen this and I can’t even remember the Mickey Rooney character, but I agree with you my impression of the film was that it was shallow, superfical, and kind of empty without much of a story, or action.

  5. Great to read your thoughts on this, Andy. I love Audrey Hepburn (have you seen Charade, adore it! Cary Grant and Hepburn make a fantastic pairing (Man I could watch that tonight.) (Yes, I did just do brackets inside or brackets inside of brackets – did you like it? 😉 )) This film is utterly overrated. I detest the casual racism as well. Now there’s a film, I can’t remember what it is, but it features a young guy (I am going to be pissed off with myself if I’m wrong to say Japanese) who goes to see this at the cinema with a young American girl and is utterly offended by it. It’s a nice piece of intertextuality, but this is something that really sticks in my throat as well.

    What’s more, the film is different from Truman Capote’s novella and the ending is completely given the Hollywood treatment. 😦 I’m not sure that lots of girls do want to be like the character of Golightly, I thought they were just in awe of Hepburn’s sophistication and beauty. I could be wrong. Really she’s just a hussy. Lol. Great review, sorry you didn’t like it. Try ‘Paris When It Sizzles’. It’s wonderfully ridiculous and is the second time she’s paired up with William Holden (Sabrina) and has a wonderful cameo role by Tony Curtis. 🙂

    • I’ve not seen all of Charade – nor do I think I’ve ever seen another Hepburn movie in full. I need to do so to wash the taste of this one from my mouth, though.

      That scene you describe about the couple watching this is vaguely familiar…

      • I can’t for the life of me remember that is. It’s a really cheesy 80s film. I feel like the Japanese boy’s on an exchange and living with an American family… if I remember I’ll let you know.

        I love Charade. I think it’s got a great supporting cast, but it’s very much of its time. I don’t love all Hepburn films. If you’re an Alan Arkin fan (he’s amazing!) you should watch ‘Wait Until Dark’. Hepburn stars as a blind lady who is taunted by Alan Arkin who plays three different roles within the film. It’s pretty sinister. On DVD it explains as the credits roll that, if you’re in the cinema, the lights will be turned out for the last ten minutes to heighten the eerie mood. It’s great, definitely check that one out. It’s a film with substance. 🙂

  6. Sorry to hear that you didn’t like this movie. Honestly, I’m not surprised. I mean…it’s a total chick flick. I absolutely love this movie. I even named my last cat, Cat. LOL

    You are almost there to your goal!

  7. I don’t hate this movie but I do find it overrated. I feel a strange sense of loyalty to George Peppard because he’s buried in the same cemetery as my great-grandparents, but even that loyalty couldn’t make me rate the film very highly, haha. Audrey made so many great films, and films that show off her talent much better than this does – Charade, The Children’s Hour, Sabrina, etc. I’m not sure why so many of those get overlooked in favor of this. You should give the novella a try, still. Capote’s writing is wonderful and it’s worlds away from the film version!

    • I need to give her a better watch, it’s been years since I’ve seen Charade and I’ve surprisingly never seen Sabrina to my knowledge. I may try the novel of this one sometime, but it’s low on my list.

  8. I agree with several comments here – that the book is better than the film, but still neither of them are as good as they are held up as being. I have always wished that Marilyn Monroe got the part, as she clearly had a massive influence over Capote’s writing, and he in fact wanted her in the role. She fits the character better in my opinion. Still, its an enjoyable enough film if you skip past the Rooney moments.

  9. Pingback: Adapting Breakfast at Tiffany’s | Gabriel Napoleon

  10. Pingback: My December Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s